Nike Does It Again

Nike is wasting no time justifying its placement at the top of Fast Company’s list of Most Innovative Companies of 2013. Yesterday, Nike introduced the Vapor Laser Talon, the first ever football cleat produced with 3D printing technology. Nike designers worked with elite trainers and gold medal sprinter, Michael Johnson, to design the shoe, which weighs only 5.6 oz and is built for mastering the 40 yard dash.

Photo courtesy of

The cleat contains a 3D printed plate, which is designed to optimize an athlete’s acceleration through the first 10 yards of the 40 yard dash. It was built using Selective Laser Sintering Technology (SLS), an additive manufacturing process which uses a high power laser to fuse together small particles of plastic, metal, ceramic, or glass powders. The laser selectively fuses the material layer by layer until the part is complete, based on a 3D description of the product in the form of a CAD file.

“SLS technology has revolutionized the way we design cleat plates – even beyond football – and gives Nike the ability to create solutions that were not possible within the constraints of traditional manufacturing processes” said Shane Kohatsu, Director of Nike Footwear Innovation.

With 44,000 employees and annual revenue of $24 billion in 2012, there are boundless possibilities for what Nike can do. We look forward to seeing what they cook up in the Innovation Kitchen in coming months!

UPDATE! Shapeways and Ace Hotel Expo Rescheduled for 3/2

Photo Courtesy of

Weekly News Round-Up: Feb 18, 2013

Disruptions: On the Fast Track to Routine 3D Printing – “[3D printing]won’t necessarily directly create manufacturing jobs, except perhaps for the printers themselves. Dr. Lipson, the co-author of “Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing,” said that the technology “is not going to simply replace existing manufacturing anytime soon.” But he said he believed that it would give rise to new businesses. ‘The bigger opportunity in the U.S. is that it opens and creates new business models that are based on this idea of customization.'”– via

Nicholas Thompson, editor of, moderates a panel about 3D printing featuring Carine Carmy, director of marketing for Shapeways; fashion designer Kimberly Ovitz; and Markus Ferrigato, head of innovation for Swarovski Professional.  Photo courtesy of

Why Emerging Technologies May Hold the Future of Fashion – Recap of the recent Decoded Fashion event. Not a ton of detail on the 3d printing and fashion panel – next year we’ll have to get there for ourselves! – via

Iris van Herpen’s 3D Printed, Laser-Sintered Couture   A review and video of Dutch designer Iris van Herpen‘s recent runway show. The highlight of van Herpen’s show was an ensemble featuring thousands of white spikes, designed in collaboration with MIT Media Lab professor Neri Oxman and produced by 3D printing company Stratasys. This was printed on an Object Connex, which allows different materials to be printed in the same object. – via Co.Design

Current Happenings:

Fashion + Technology Exhibit at Museum at FIT

The Museum at FIT is holding an exhibition on Fashion + Technology now through May 8. It features 100 years in textile innovation, all the way up to 3d printed clothing.

New York, NY


Fashion Innovations in 3D Printing

As part of the Computational Fashion program series, Eyebeam presents an event featuring designers and producers using cutting edge 3D printing techniques to push the boundaries of fashion. From the runway to the DIY hackerspace, 3D printing and rapid prototyping have become an increasingly popular and accessible way to produce objects that are both highly complex and easily replicable.

Joris Debo, Creative Director (.MGX by Materialise)
Duann Scott, Designer Evangelist (Shapeways)
Bradley Rothenberg, architect and Gabi Asfour, designer (threeASFOUR)
Alexandra Samuel, Dan Selden, and Ross Leonardy (Crowd Control)


Who is Running the Revolution?


Several leaders have emerged in the evolution of the 3D printing industry. We break it down below:

Shapeways is A 3D printing social platform and marketplace which allows individuals to create and sell custom designs, utilizing 3D printing technology. Users can select from a variety of materials, including sandstone, ceramic, silver, and stainless steel to produce their very own designs which they can sell to the Shapeways community.

Shapeways is headquartered in New York, NY, with offices in the Netherlands and Seattle, Washington. Investors include Lux Capital, Union Square Ventures, and Index Ventures.

Stratysys is a manufacturer of 3D printers and 3D production systems. Their printers and systems are available for both small scale manufacturing and desktop printing.  The company focuses on advancements in the Aerospace, Automotive, Commercial Product, Consumer Product, Medical Device, Military, and Educational industries.

Stratysys is headquartered in Edina, Minnesota and Rehovot, Israel.

Makerbot is a manufacturer of desktop 3D printers, focused on bringing the technology to the end user. The company operates a retail location in New York, NY, where they provide demos and seminars on the technology and allow prospective users to experience 3D printing.

Makerbot is headquartered in Brooklyn, NY. Investors include Foundry Group, Bezos Expeditions, True Ventures, RRE Ventures, and Sam Lessin.

3D Systems is a producer of 3D printers, print materials, digital content and 3D CAD software, for both professional and consumer use. The company focuses on providing end to end solutions, with focus on a variety of industries, including Transportation, Energy, Consumer Products, Recreation, Healthcare and Education, among others.

3D Systems is headquartered in Rock Hill, South Carolina, with offices in Australia, the Netherlands, and Italy.

The Third Industrial Revolution

The gentleman manufacturer

POTUS Underscores Importance of 3D Printing in SOTU

“Now is the time to reach a level of research and development not seen since the height of the Space Race,” said President Obama in last night’s State Of The Union. Stressing the priority of adding jobs and manufacturing, the President cited a Manufacturing Innovation Institute in Youngston, Ohio, which is “mastering the 3D printing that has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything.” The president asked for congress’s support to open a network of 15 hubs, ensuring that the next manufacturing revolution takes place in America.

What does this mean for the 3D printing industry? In addition to bringing awareness to those unfamiliar with the technology, the president’s remark ignites a feeling of plausibility, indicating that the industrial and commercial impact is not far away.

Shares of 3D printing makers jumped in pre-market trading. If that’s any indication, I expect that we will see a spike in “3D printing” Google searches in the days to come and hopefully with that knowledge, an interest and investment in R&D.

Searches on 3D printing spike after SOTU

Searches on 3D printing spike after SOTU

Searches on “3D printing” spiked to an all-time high immediately following the State of the Union address.

Kimberly Orvitz Q&A with Duann Scott of Shapeways

Asked why 3D printing is so revolutionary in the fashion industry, Duann Scott, Designer Evangelist at Shapeways says,

“it is perfect for fast iterations and custom forms. You can make an item exactly fit one person and there is no additional cost for that customization.  Also with 3D printing, everything can be fabricated on demand, there is no minimum order run and supply exactly meets demand…there is no need for inventory, no excess stock, none of last years’ line you need to sell at a discount.”

No excess inventory or old product? Sounds like a retailers dream come true!

Find more of the Q&A here.

Weekly News Round-Up: Feb 10, 2013

Hot New Marketplace for 3D Printable Objects Caught Offering Stolen Jewelry – A 3D printing startup in Cincinnati gets in hot water for “mistakenly” listing artists’ and designers’ files for sale to print at home, without credit, compensation or even…the actual files.- via

A Response to Sam Jacob, 3D Printing’s Dissenter –  An interesting discussion on whether or not 3D printing cheapens the production process. “[Jacob] disapproves of the impending ‘removal of the production process between the designer and their artifact, a shortening of the distance between their imagination and its physical product,’ which he sees as a shortcut that ultimately cheapens the design process. I would argue that the removal of the physical aspect of the design process — drawing, handcrafting, etc. — has been a longstanding qualm that the old guard…has had with the new.” – via

Startup News for NYC – MakerBot is launching a series of workshops, classes and lectures for anyone eager to learn the nuances of 3D printing. The company’s retail location at 298 Mulberry Street will feature lessons like “Setting Up and Maintaining Your New MakerBot” on Friday nights from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. At $35 per class (this varies depending on which one you attend) space is limited, so register in advance. – via BetaBeat

Transform Your Facebook Profile Into A 3D Printed Sculpture With The Creators Project – Interesting project where Shapeways has partnered with The Creators Project to allow anyone to visualize their Facebook profile as one of three 3D printed objects.  – via

Building a Lunar Space Agency with 3D Printing  – The European Space Agency is testing the feasibility of using 3D printers to build a lunar base using soil and materials from the moon. They estimate that the next generation of printers would be able to build a building in a week. via

9 Seriously Mind Blowing Things You Can Make With a 3D Printer – From bicycles to bikinis, here’s a quick overview of projects that can be created with a 3D printer.via

3D Printing Hits Fall 2013 Fashion Week

Nemo is not the only storm to hit Fall 2013 Fashion Week. For the first time, we are seeing a true collision taking place in the worlds of fashion and 3D printing.

In NY, Kimberly Orvitz has partnered with Shapeways to produce a line of 3D printed jewelry, which models wore as they sashayed down the runway at her February 7th show. The six piece jewelry collection is available for purchase at Shapeways, and ranges in price from $35 to $250.


Photo courtesy of

As stated on the Shapeways’ website, Orvitz took inspiration from the exoskeleton to create a collection which will “mold to your body like armor.”

And Orvitz is not alone in exploring 3D printing this Fashion Month. In Paris, Dutch designer Iris Van Herpen has used 3D printing to produce 3 pieces of his 11 piece collection, which is on display now. Van Herpen says, “I find the process of 3D printing fascinating because I believe it will only be a matter of time before we see the clothing we wear today produced with this technology…and it will be a great source of inspiration for new ideas.”

The skirt, dress, and cape were produced in collaboration with artist Neri Oxman of MIT’s Media Lab, Austrian architect and UCLA lecturer Julia Koehner, 3D printer manufacturer Stratasys and software company Materialise. Following fashion week, the skirt and cape will be displayed at MIT’s Media Lab.


Photos courtesy of Stratasys Ltd/PR Newswire

Shapeways Partners with Ace Hotel for Fashion Week 3D Printing Expo

On February 9th, Shapeways will be hosting a 3D printing event at the Ace Hotel in New York City. Overlapping with Fashion Week, the event will showcase emerging designers and explore how technology is revolutionizing the industry.

Fashion Week 3D Printing Expo